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Dr Oliver Payton

Dr Oliver Payton

Dr Oliver Payton

Senior Research Associate (Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship)

Physics Laboratory,
Tyndall Ave, Bristol BS8 1TL
(See a map)



Oliver completed his Masters in Physics at the University of Bristol in 2008 before undertaking a PhD in the school of Engineering at the same university in the Engineering Maths department.  Oliver’s PhD focussed on understanding and developing a new form of microscopy called High-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM).  By developing new experimental and theoretical understanding of how the micro-mechanical sensor interacts with the sample surface Oliver and co-workers were able to redesign the microscope and it is now being used to image samples from chunks of nuclear reactor to individual strands of DNA. 

After his PhD Oliver spent a year working with the Interface Analysis Centre at Bristol developing a radiation mapping unmanned air vehicle capable remotely mapping out radioactive sources using a solid state gamma ray spectrometer and custom software.  This technology formed the basis of Imitec Ltd, a spin-out from the University of Bristol, of which Oliver is a founding director.  In 2014 Oliver was co-awarded the ERA foundation Entrepreneurs award for his role in the development of the radiation mapping system.

Oliver currently holds a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship in the field of high-speed AFM at the University of Bristol and is using this to develop further property measurement techniques into the HS-AFM as well as increase the tools impact to research and industry.  Oliver splits his time between the Engineering Maths Dept and the Interface Analysis Centre (IAC) in the School of Physics; he currently holds a lab in the NSQI low noise labs centre.


Oliver has demonstrated and written parts of the Physics departments undergraduate computer programming course and now supervises two PhD students (one in Engineering and one in Physics) and one PDRA.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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